MT. VERNON, Ohio (WCMH) — Police said a neighbor shot and killed a dog — telling officers it was off the leash and attacking his pet — as children fought to pull the dogs apart.
But the dog’s owner, Jenee Hall, of Mt. Vernon, said she’s very upset that her neighbor fired a handgun near where her two daughters were standing. She wants answers from law enforcement.
She said the Pit Bull mix — named Pacman — was a gentle 5-year-old dog who ran outside after her son opened the front door.
The Elizabeth Street neighbor told Mt. Vernon police on May 14 that he was standing by his upstairs window when he heard dogs fighting. He claimed he yelled at the two young girls trying to separate the dogs before he began firing his pistol at them from the window.
“I was inside and I heard the shots. I heard ‘pop, pop, pop,’ heard my daughters screaming, ‘He shot him, he shot him,’ and I just ran down there and saw my dog bloody and pulling himself out of the yard,” Hall said.
Hall is angry that the man killed her dog and also fired shots near her children.
“It was right in front of my kids,” she said.
Hall said she ran down the alley, scooped up the bleeding dog, and tried to drive to the local animal clinic but because it was Sunday, she could not get help.
“We were all in the van together and watched him bleed out and die.”
She said Pacman was shot three times. They buried him with his toys.
Shortly after the shooting, the neighbor’s wife called 911, along with three other neighbors.
“We just shot a dog that was attacking our dog,” the wife of the shooter said. “There were two little kids out there trying to tear them apart and they were going to get hurt.”
After police arrived, the neighbor claimed his dog was being bitten on the throat. He said he did not have time to get dressed after a shower, and that’s why he fired his pistol from the window.
“There is an Ohio revised code section that creates an exception for killing a dog that is menacing another person, and that is what is reported by the homeowner,” said Chip McConville, the Knox County Prosecutor.
The neighbor and his wife told investigators they thought the girls were in jeopardy.
Hall said her 10- and 11-year-old girls played with Pacman all the time and that he was very gentle. She said the neighbor’s dog did not have any bite marks on him.
“My children are having nightmares and waking in the night, crying, after seeing their dog shot to death,” Hall said. “He did not have to shoot the dog. He could have come downstairs and helped the girls separate the two dogs instead of shooting it to death.”